AP NEWS

New Hampshire governor orders retail use of single-use bags

March 22, 2020 GMT
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announces a series of emergency orders on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Concord, N.H., in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The orders create immediate access to unemployment benefits for residents unable to work or facing reduced hours due to the new coronavirus pandemic. He also took steps to protect people from being evicted or having utilities shut off in the next few weeks. (AP photo/Holly Ramer)
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announces a series of emergency orders on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Concord, N.H., in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The orders create immediate access to unemployment benefits for residents unable to work or facing reduced hours due to the new coronavirus pandemic. He also took steps to protect people from being evicted or having utilities shut off in the next few weeks. (AP photo/Holly Ramer)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire retail stores are being ordered to temporarily transition to the use of single-use paper or plastic bags because of the risk that reusable bags could pose a risk of transmission of the coronavirus.

In the order issued late Saturday, Gov. Chris Sununu directed all grocers and retail stores in New Hampshire to transition to use only new paper or plastic grocery bags provided by stores “as soon as feasibly possible.”

“Our grocery store workers are on the front lines of COVID-19, working around the clock to keep New Hampshire families fed,” the governor said in a statement. “With identified community transmission, it is important that shoppers keep their reusable bags at home given the potential risk to baggers, grocers and customers.”

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough, and the vast majority recover. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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CASES

More than 80 people have tested positive in New Hampshire for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Six people in the state have been hospitalized.

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VA HOSPITAL

Starting on Monday, all veterans arriving of the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center will be screened in their vehicles as part of its efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Veterans who are showing no symptoms will be required to use the Mountain Entrance to get in.

“We have taken steps to limit on-site traffic by converting a large portion of our care delivery from face to face to virtual care,” said Kevin Forrest, interim director of the Manchester VA.

“Veterans and providers alike have reported success and value the opportunity to eliminate the risk of unnecessary exposure to the coronavirus,” Forrest said.

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